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Survival Gear Tiers

First Tier - First Line of Survival Gear

The first tier of your basic survival gear is the stuff that is always kept on your person, like in your pocket, which can be divided into three locations (wallet, key chain, pockets, and belt). It is meant for short-term activities.

The purpose of the first tier is to get you through the day-to-day routine. If you should find yourself stranded with nothing but what is on you, you would still be able to survive.


  • First Starter - small fire steel, waterproof matches, and waxed fire-started in a zip lock bag

  • Signaling - small signal mirror

  • First Aid - Band-aids, razor blade, antiseptic pad

  • Phone Card - Substitution for emergency cell phones

  • USD - Small amount of USD stashed in the zip lock bag

Key Chain

  • Cordage - Preferably paracord in the form of a key-chain fob. Paracord bracelet

  • Pinch light - Small pinch lights provide limited light, and LED version lasts forever

  • First Starter - Small fire striker

  • Pocket Knife - A small Swiss Army knife

  • Whistle - better than shouting when you need to attract attention

  • Compass - Button compass

Pants, Pockets, and Belt

  • Pocket knife - Full-size lock-back pocket knife with a sound clip (last-ditch defense).

  • Cell Phone- Nice convenience

  • Flashlight - If you will be out after dark - mini-maglight or similar flashlight

  • Multi-Tool - Leatherman or Gerber multi-tool

You may want to purchase a mini pocket organizer with the first tier kit, and you will have the means to obtain or improvise food, shelter, and water. You can signal, have a means of security, and can administer limited first-aid.

Second Tier - Second line of Survival Gear

The second-tier survival kit includes items that you can fit in a small carry bag like a fanny pack or Camelback backpack. It is the grab-and-go bag that you often keep in the car.

  • Fixed Blade knife - heavy duty survival knife. Something that can serve for defense and heavy utility duties

  • Full-size compass - Full-size compass for ease of reading

  • Water container - internal reservoirs

  • Fire starter - Wind-proof lighter and small fire-starting brick

  • Water purification kit - water purification tablets

  • Flashlight - Souped-up Mag-light or Surefire G2

  • First-aid Kit - Tweezers, Gorilla tape, adhesive tape, ibuprofen, band-aids, antibiotic and hydrocortisone cream

  • Simple Shelter - Emergency blanket and a lightweight tube tent

  • Cordage - about fifty feet of paracord cut in ten-foot lengths

  • Sign Mirror - better than a standard mirror with a hole in the center for accuracy

  • Multi-tool - A good Swiss Army knife

  • Rain Gear - Military issue raincoat or poncho

  • Others - Waterproof notebook and pocket addition of survival manual

Looking for a premium first aid kit on the cheap? Check out the 130-piece R72 Modular Premium First Aid Kit, which includes:

  • Coban Tape (1)

    • Coban is a COhesive BANdage commonly used as a wrap on limbs to control bleeding. Coban has elastic qualities and will stick to itself and not loosen. It is used both on humans and animals.

  • Skin Stapler (1)

    • This ready to use stapler comes with 35 preloaded medical grade wide staples for use on extreme lacerations. It is also veterinarian approved.

  • Zip Stitches (2)

    • Zip Stiches are a non-invasive skin closure device for smaller, more managable incisions and lacerations. Unlike the skin stapler, Zip Stitches use an isolation zone and dynamic compression technology to create a puncture-free skin closure.

  • Scissors, Tweezers, Vinyl Gloves, Safety Pins (10), Sterile Eye Pads (4), Standard Adhesive Bandages (30), Waterproof Fingertip, Bandage PE (5), Butterfly Bandages (15), PBT Bandage (2), Elbow/Knee Bandage (5), Triangular Bandage (2), Whistle, Stainless Steel Knife Card, Elastic (Ace) Bandage (2), Alcohol Swabs (8), Silicon Tourniquet (2), Adhesive Tape (2), Adhesive Wound Dressing (2), Sterile Guaze Swab 2" x 2" (4), Sterile Gauze Swab 3" x 3" (3), Sterile Gauze Swab 4" x 4" (2), Emergency Foil Blanket (2), Cotton Swabs (15), Lodine Antiseptic Wipes (4), Manual

Third Tier - Third Line of Survival Gear

The third-tier survival kit is more commonly known as a bug-out bag or 72-hour kit. It includes all the items that fit into a good-sized backpack. It should be able to sustain me for at least 72-hours. It is separated into multiple modules, each enclosed in its own bag with the most critical items on top. That way, it is easy to access in the dark.

  • First aid - Comprehensive first-aid kit for treating major trauma cases

  • Shelter - Sleeping bag, tent, and tarp. Rain gear and an insulated flannel shirt

  • Water - Military canteen and cups. Water purification tablets

  • Fire - Small camp stove and fuel

  • Food - Canned goods, freeze-dried foods, and MREs. Enough for three days

  • Tools - 100-ft length of paracord, fish hooks and line, and survival handbook.

  • Others - Small hatchet, fixed blade knife, machete, or firearm lashed to the pack frame.

Consider the R72 Grab&Go Vest + Modular Bags, designed for both emergencies and adventures. It features over 25+ features that you'll definitely want in case of an emergency. Check out the features below and visit to learn more and watch videos of the R72 Gab&Go Vest + Modular Bags in action.

If you need to escape or evade or find yourself in a hostile situation, and you need to run long distances, you may need to dump your 2nd tier and still have your tier two on your body.

If you find yourself in water and need to get rid of your tier 2, you will still have your tier-1 in your pocket, which has immediate life-saving essentials. The whole idea is don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Don’t put all your gear in your backpack because if something happens to it or you get separated from it, you will still have survival gear.

Organize your gear/kits according to your specific needs, environment, and skill level. Practice using the various items in different weather and seasons. It is vital that you can carry all your gear for an extensive period. Leave those things out that are not working for you and add others you think you will need. You can find the best system for you by experimenting.

Some people only dabble in preparedness. They keep some extra toilet paper on hand, a first-aid kit, and save a little cash. But, if a real emergency comes along, they find their supplies are inadequate. You never know how much you rely on something until it’s gone. Being prepared means you have other solutions for the things you need.

Start preparing with the first tier and slowly add to your survival gear until you have reached the third tier.

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